Every apartment and a two or more story building have a balcony, but not every balcony is being utilized. When you’re buying or renting an apartment, it’s always a challenge deciding what to do with the balcony – as a result, many people leave it bare or just use it as storage for bikes and milk crates. While it might seem difficult at first, even the smallest balcony can be turned into a cozy retreat with some simple seating, plants and a little imagination.
Without a doubt, the easiest way to make your apartment balcony more comfortable is to add a chair or two – once you have a place to sit and admire the view, the more often you’ll actually be inclined to use the balcony.
Balcony furniture can range from a couple of chairs and a side table to a porch swing or a chair hammock. Make sure that your furniture is durable, waterproof and easy-to-clean – you don’t want your balcony chairs to absorb every last drop of each summer shower. If you have a very small balcony and still need the space for other things, you might want to consider a multi-purpose storage bench. In the end, just be sure to plan the space according to what you will use it for.
Another easy way to spice up your apartment balcony is to add some plants. Even something as simple as a few potted plants in the corner of the balcony can make the area seem much more inviting. Be sure to choose the right plants for your apartment (you’ll want different plants depending on whether your balcony gets lots of shade or lots of sun) and can thrive well for a long time without constant care.
Above all, be creative! For example, if you really like the outdoors and wish you had a lawn, why not lay down some patches of turf to cover up the ugly concrete floor of the balcony? Express yourself and make the balcony your own – it’s your living space, after all. Also, make sure to pick out accessories and modest decorations that won’t crack or fade in the sun and won’t get blown away by a sudden gust of wind – you could be liable for damages if anything falls off your balcony.
Some people even transform their apartment balcony into a kitchen for more space inside the apartment. There are two options here; you can either merge the kitchen with the balcony, or make the balcony a kitchen on its own. If you want to merge the two rooms, you are going to have to break down the wall that stands in between them. If you have a landlord, then that will be a hard thing to do as they might not like your idea.
If you want to totally transform the balcony into a kitchen, the most difficult part is the installation of water pipes. Also, you’ll need to have enough power sockets and you will have to furnish the balcony and make it look like a kitchen with all the necessary accessories and equipments. Think about the cold seasons and if the balcony will be warm enough to act as a kitchen. Make sure you take all things into consideration before you act.
Before you bust out the paintbrush or start drilling holes for the eyehooks that will hold up your hammock, check with your landlord or property manager first to see what is and isn’t allowed on your balcony. Many cities and apartment buildings have specific rules for what a tenant is allowed to do with their balcony – for example, most don’t allow grills or BBQs. Others might not allow the balcony to be used for sporting goods storage, while other might not permit satellite dishes to be installed.